The perfect place?

The pond should be the perfect place for mellow summer gardening - gentle ripples on the water, ducks floating serenely by, trees whispering quietly in the gentle summer breeze... Pity about the blustery gales, cold rain, and Rusty the new puppy 'helping' me dig (and trying to chase off the ducks).

 On the driveway with blue scabiosa in the background.
Rusty the Puppy

Saturday 11th December

It's far too cold for summer! I'm wearing thermals, woollen jersey, and have my cold legs wrapped in a rug. Mind you, it's only 7:30 am. Suddenly (again!) I need to purchase lots and lots of new plants. The rationale for this is as follows: If I am to spend a lot of time (as I have been doing) clearing and weeding behind the pond, then I should fill the cleared and weeded spaces with plants, thus minimising the clearing and weeding needed next time.

 A lovely colour in my summer garden.
Summer Flowering Magenta Lychnis

No Gardening Budget!

Thinking of my non-existent budget, I could find seedling cabbage trees and seedling tussocks to plant. Then I could scatter variegated honesty seeds and jolly well be patient. I could lay newspaper and go and get loads of horse-poos and compost, thus minimising even further later clearing and weeding.

Thus I would be thinking ahead, and planning properly, rather than looking for an instant behind-the-pond makeover. A list is probably called for, but it would only contain the above items, and therefore be repetitive and boring.

I think I'll wait until Stephen is up (he can distract Rusty the puppy, allowing me to fearlessly rake and dig, and the ducks to enjoy the quiet life). I CAN get this new garden sorted - quickly and sensibly. Hey - I've just had an idea! - Rugosa roses are pretty tough and sturdy - perhaps they would like it in here! When I return I will have installed the large artistic driftwood seat.

 Taj-Dog, Stephen, and Rusty the new puppy.
Three Friends

Later, Apres Gardening in Blue and White Stripes...

Sounds like I'm in my pyjamas. But seriously, I have worked very hard today. The seat behind the pond is in place, and I've cleared about ten wheelbarrowfuls of rubbish which I have also burned. Now the lawns are being mown - that means all edges will need trimming. I'll do that later today. I have also deadheaded the first rose deadheads (Othello rose by the house) and trimmed most of the Aquilegias in the house gardens. They will produce fresh new leaf growth for me. The very first yellow flowering summer shrubs are starting - the Senecio and the Hypericum have just a few flowers.

Rusty the puppy ripped and ate some of my Schubert music. Oops!

Sunday 12th December

Have I got away with not spraying the roses at all? Imagine the extreme - ripping every rose out because of the bother of spraying. I love my roses - some, like Crepuscule on the pergola, seem to have been flowering for months. New Dawn by the house (which was completely destroyed some years ago, ha ha) has healthy canes covered in beautiful soft pink flowers. My new Benjamin Britten roses are interesting - the blooms are a muddy sort of pink, perfect for their situation (they are in a predominantly wine-red and light green border, by the Cercis Forest Pansy - and I am trying to sound impressively colour-stylish).

 A beautiful soft marmalade colour.
Unknown Hybrid tea Rose

I checked in this diary - white hen has been dazed and confused for seven weeks, gone broody but alas sitting on nothing. Rusty the puppy 'herds' the rooster and the hens away from the house. Who am I trying to kid? He starts chasing them, then I tell him off. Accordingly the house patio and decking is not such a favourite poultry haunt any more (there's nothing mellow in a pale fluffy panting object with bouncy legs hurtling towards you). Consequently there is no chook-poos to spoil summer outdoor living style (just a few spiders, but they're OK). Just wait until I buy the house its Christmas present - a small but 'proper' BBQ on legs - and Stephen finishes the outdoor chairs which complement the stylish outdoor table...

Head Gardener :
Does this smiling person look like a gardening lunatic?

This morning I have a breakfast engagement - this is compulsory socialisation on a grand scale, and my second such appointment this week. One of my colleagues has been reading my garden diary (out loud, with much mirth) and now calls me 'the lunatic old lady who gardens' - affectionately, I'm sure. The greatest passions often become amusements for others.

Today my passion (after breakfast) will be totally practical - I will keep clearing behind the pond, burn the rubbish, weed and plant, test out the new seat with a cup of coffee... I will also play with the puppy, and talk to the cats (hello to Stumpy sitting on my lap helping me write). Some spirituality is OK as long as I don't start boring the gardening pants off anyone else.

 Variety unknown - they came from the bargain bin.

I'm back. I have been fully socialised (twelve friends at once!), I have gardened for three hours (delightfully windless), and now just as I retire indoors the southerly has struck - the sky becomes instantly dark, and the wind suddenly roars in, and within minutes the temperature is dropping.

A couple of gardening achievements: I planted out the last of the summer annuals, and shifted a large grass from the pergola to the garden behind the pond. My hostas are brilliant - this is their time in the - sun?

Monday 13th December

Rusty the puppy has been here over two weeks now. Mooseys Country Garden provides the perfect lifestyle for a puppy - an old dog mentor to follow around, poultry to chase (oops), cats to annoy (sorry Mugsy), lawns and paths and water, and of course gardeners who rake the lawn (Aargh! Fight the rake!) and dig holes in the garden (Aargh! Dig in the garden!) and wander around with a wheelbarrow (Aargh! Chase the wheelbarrow!)...

More Puppy Photographs?

Not to mention all the photographs, which must make a new puppy feel special... At this stage I must remember my web-master's request for more puppy photos. Each morning as I write up my diary I get Stumpy the cat on my lap, snuggling close - of course I still love you Stumpy! The new kitten comes in a week's time...

 With a string of plastic sausages...
Puppy Playing

Yesterday I wandered around taking garden border photographs (they look great, because all the lawns are freshly mowed) and decided that the Moosey garden is almost exactly the right size - perhaps a little small? I feel humble and content and very lucky (that mood again - hope it lasts).

What To Do Today?

So what shall I do first today? No lists - I fancy a day stretching out my mind (and legs) visiting all the garden areas, perhaps doing a little gardening maintenance in each. And I must tie my heirloom tomatoes to their stakes.

 Growing well...
My Vegetable Garden

My vegetable garden is better this year - the courgettes have started, the beans are twirling their way upwards, the potatoes are in flower, and the lettuces are ready. Unimaginative vegetables, but I know I can grow them. Does it follow that we will eat them? 101 ways to cook a courgette?